10 Comments
Apr 8, 2022Liked by Steven Beschloss

As I read through your (again) excellent essay, I started formulating what I might write here in a comment -- but every step of the way, you wrote it first. Yes, it is (past) time for a considerable re-working of some of our most important and powerful institutions. The United Nations is both historically and ideologically significant, and yet in its practice it has been virtually impotent when it matters most. One of the most bitter lessons I have learned over the past five years is one I have written about here before: that our democratic institutions are not as robust as we believed them to be, but rather, as you write, are dependent almost entirely on people being willing to adhere to certain principles (honesty, fairness, justice for all, the rule of Law); enforcing those principles has proven to be another matter entirely. We keep waiting on the sidelines, wondering when the slow grind of due process is going to actually produce real consequences for those that continue to break the law. Meanwhile, the far right is not waiting, and dictators like Putin are allowed to commit atrocities with impunity. I am getting old. These days, I find myself often thankful that I will likely not live another 20 years. I don't think I can bear watching.

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Thank you, Carol. Sobering days.

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It is good to know that our thoughts are shared with lots of people. I am not some kind of whack-job for wanting Ukrainian pilots in their choice or weapons. Every last Ukrainian does not have to die for there to be evidence if genocide. We see the evidence.

We are the leaders of the free world. Send the damn planes. Do the paperwork next week.

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Apr 8, 2022Liked by Steven Beschloss

Steven, thanks for another provocative post. The Ukraine war certainly brings the issue into sharp focus, and as you say the last 5 years in this country have been discouraging and alarming.

What I have found most corrosive is the certainty that if I, or probably any of your readers, committed *any* of the crimes that powerful politicians commit, we'd have long been fined and indicted and probably in jail. This realty occurs to me often, when I read about - take your pick - particularly from the dark period where TFG was in power. But still now, today, there are examples that really get under my skin.

How can we expect any ordinary citizens to obey laws if those in power can willfully violate them and, it appears, pay no price and even prosper? Talk about moral hazard....

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Apr 8, 2022·edited Apr 8, 2022Author

Thx, Beau. The notion that no one is above the law has been permanently damaged, I’m afraid. But surely the justice system can do better.

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Apr 8, 2022Liked by Steven Beschloss

I compare the United Nations with US government. In the latter, the central, federal government has the power. In the former, the individual countries decide their own direction.. All countries have the right to govern themselves. They can be condemned for actions, but not stopped. The UN, the answer to Wilson's League of Nations, is controlled by the Security Council, nations that won WW II, 77 years ago. Allies then are not all allies now; in fact, 2 of them are the other 3's adversaries. How can there be cooperation with each holding the veto power? Russia has vetoed the most, the US comes in second.There must be agreement by all five to enter a country to restore the peace. No way Russia will assent to that in terms of Ukraine. The once Sect'y General, Kurt Waldheim, was even a former Nazi !

I guess it is better for 193 nations to have a place to come together to talk, explain,and lie than to not. There have been positive outcomes.(Compare to 50 US states these days -and others. ) But as far as solving major problems and sending the world happily on its way, Nah! We are better off participating in organizations like NATO where positive, active steps can be taken, although it can mean a pledge of defense, death , & war.

As for Ukraine, Zelenskyy shouldn't have to always be begging. He begs, we give; he begs, we give. How about we give, he thanks ??

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Apr 8, 2022Liked by Steven Beschloss

Powerful words - from President Zelensky and you - that strike to the heart of the matter.

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I don’t know what to do next. I want to say NATO should invade Russia and arrest Putin. But it’s too easy for me, I have never been in the military and now at 63 I never will be. OTOH if all NATO can do is stand by what is it for if not something like this?

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Brilliant. Insightful. Poignant. Hopefully read in places of power.

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Thank you.

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